First Impressions of Apple’s new Swift programming language

“Over two weeks ago, Apple at WWDC announced something entirely unexpected: thousands of new APIs and a brand-new programming language, Swift,” Rainer Brockerhoff blogs. “Reactions varied all over the spectrum. Non-developers (especially ‘industry analysts’) mostly had no idea what it meant: they said Apple had announced ‘nothing.’ Almost all developers, however, were ecstatic — ‘the most significant event Apple ever staged.’ Regarding Swift, this initial enthusiasm diverged as soon as people read the (relatively sparse) documentation and actually began to play around with the language — a very early beta version was available for download soon after the announcement. Hilarity, chaos and pandemonium ensued; tension, apprehension and dissension had begun.”

“It really appears to be a very pragmatic language. If you look at the generated library header (in Xcode, command-doubleclick on any Swift type to see it), nearly all operators and types are defined there, in often surprising detail,” Brockerhoff writes. “In other words, few language features are hard-wired into the parser/compiler – the Swift library/runtime and the pre-LLVM optimizer are, instead, responsible for the language and its implementation details, and therefore more easily twiddled if necessary.”

Much more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple publishes second free Swift code manual to iBooks Store – June 13, 2014
Swift: Who is Apple’s new programming language for? – June 12, 2014
Apple’s Swift programming language and what it means for developers and users – June 11, 2014
Apple’s Swift is instant hit among top programming languages – June 10, 2014
Swift: Apple’s next-gen programming language 4 years in the making – June 4, 2014
Why developers are going nuts over Apple’s new ‘Swift’ programming language – June 3, 2014
Apple just delivered a knockout blow to Android with iOS 8 – June 2, 2014
Xcode 6 features resizable device simulators, paving way for iPhones with new screen sizes – June 2, 2014
WWDC 2014: Apple sets the scene for its next decade – June 2, 2014
Apple unveils new versions of OS X and iOS, major iCloud update with iCloud Drive – June 2, 2014
Apple’S WWDC news bores investors, not developers – June 2, 2014
Apple’s HealthKit aims to unite wearables and fitness apps – June 2, 2014
Apple releases iOS 8 SDK with over 4,000 new APIs – June 2, 2014
Apple unveils iOS 8, the biggest release since the launch of the App Store – June 2, 2014
Apple announces OS X Yosemite for Macintosh – June 2, 2014


  1. I am getting old and my memory is not at it’s top. I find swift much easier to dive into iOS programming than Objective-C.

    Well done Apple. playground is a really cool feature. Reminds me a little bit the Basic that made me switch to Mac in 1984 because you could see the code executing in one window and the result in another. That’s the 2014 version of that basic.

  2. The big take away in the story is the observation: “The cross-platform advocates complained that there was no version running/compiling for Android (as if Apple would have any interest in promoting that!).”

    If apps are first developed for Apple iOS devices and they use the easy to program with Swift option then many will never make it over to the Android swamp! Why redevelop in Android if there is almost no money made on Android devices.

    1. There are already companies that have libraries that port your obj-c to Android (Apportable for Cocos2D comes to mind). Swift will be relatively simple to add to the mix.

      Why anyone in their right mind would want to actually do that is the real question…

      ok, I’m kidding. I understand the need to expand your user base, make a living etc, but for every platform success story I’ve read 20 horror stories about what a pain support and theft is.

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